Formed in 2007 in Sweden, REPUKED follows the tradition of some well-known names such as AUTOPSY and IMPETIGO but also mixing in some GG ALLIN and other Punk / Crust influences. A combination that just enhances the overall sickness of the music they deliver, staying away from the invasion of NWOSDM clones that are saturating the scene nowadays. With 2 demos, a split and 2 awesome albums, REPUKED is firmly rooted in the underground and it seems they won’t be going anywhere else soon. Rob the Slob (bass and vocals) confirmed this by answering some questions we sent him…
First and foremost, hello there. And thank you for accepting this interview for Voices From The Darkside. It is great to have you guys respond to some questions. Specially since it’s been so hard for me to find information about REPUKED. I guess it is mandatory to ask how and when were you formed? Niklas and Robin are also part of GODPHOBIA. Did you decide to form REPUKED from there as a side project?
"Hey, thanks right back at you! It wasn’t formed as a side project, only Rob was a part of GODPHOBIA when REPUKED was formed in the summer of 2007. Nicke joined GODPHOBIA in 2012 I think. We formed the band because we felt we wanted to play the kind of Death Metal we love, and felt there wasn’t many bands out there delivering the goods."
Three different drummers have been part of the band. Why has it been that hard to find a suitable member in that department?
"Our first drummer was actually a guitar player so we had to let him go and do what he desires, so he joined DIABOLICAL. Our second drummer was too old and only wanted to play KISS covers. But we have now finally found a drummer who fits perfectly, he is self taught, fast, sloppy and not too technical. And he drinks a lot of Kir."
Your first demo tape "Excremental Funeral" was released in August 2008 and your second demo tape "Vomitfilled Baptism" was released in March 2009. How was the acceptance of both demos in the underground? I am guessing that the people following REPUKED were asking for more stuff, since there is only 7 months between your first and second demo tapes.
"Those were the good old days, just hanging in the garage getting drunk and spewing out some putrid tunes. Well, not much has changed since then to be honest. When we released our demos we kind of noticed there was a lot of like minded people and bands out there, who also seemed to miss the way Death Metal was supposed to sound. We made friends with some other bands forming at that same time like NECROWRETCH, MORBUS CHRON etc. Still coming out great stuff and new bands allover like GRAVEYARD GHOUL, DECOMPOSED and more. Since we didn’t do any gigs at that time I guess making new songs and recording it ourselves just was on the agenda."
Just before your debut album, you released a compilation tape, consisting of your 2 previous demo tapes, via Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho. How did you get in contact with Robert and what made you release that tape? Was this done for mere promotional purposes or were people still asking for your demo tapes and hence, new material at that specific time?
"Robert contacted us via myspace, and he is a really cool and dedicated dude. I guess since we didn’t print many copies of the first two demos on cassette we felt why not release it as a “2 in 1” so people can enjoy the demos the way they are supposed to be enjoyed, in a crappy old tape deck. I think we only had one new song at that moment, so we recorded it and featured it on the release."
Your first album "Pervertopia" and your second album "Up From The Sewers" were released by the same label, Soulseller Records. How did you get in contact with them for your debut album and how has that deal worked out so far?
"Once again myspace played a big deal, we recorded a promo for Pervertopia and uploaded it for people to listen at. Some labels contacted us and asked to release it. We decided to go with Soulseller Records because they release albums on vinyl, and who doesn’t want their filthy music out on vinyl!"
Speaking about your debut album, I think that it has the perfect mix of Death Metal Punk / Sludge. Also, the whole concept revolves around blood and guts and rottenness, but it also has a good dose of humor and irony. Did you have that style in mind when you formed REPUKED or did it just come out naturally? From what I’ve read, the underground received "Pervertopia" in a great way.
"Thanks, yeah that’s more or less what we’re aiming at. We have a quite childish sense of humor, especially when we’re drunk. And we are more into Punk than Metal so that’s where we get most our influences from. We are more about energy and the sheer fuck off feeling than play everything correctly and show off. Although I gotta say because we don’t take ourselves very seriously we do take our music very seriously."
After your first album, you released the "Nunc Est Bibendum" EP, with 4 new songs, via SlapBet Records. And then the split 7" with Italy’s HAEMOPHAGUS, via No Posers Please! Records, with 2 new songs. What is the story behind these two releases? How did you get in touch with the HAEMOPHAGUS guys? I bet these 7"es were released on a limited run, because I’ve been trying to get them and it’s been really difficult so far.
"Faisal from SlapBet Records asked us if we wanted to release some stuff on 7”. And as you know, only vinyl is real! We had a few songs already written so we just went ahead and recorded and also shot a video with a infamous Swedish porno director that’s on youtube called ‘Feral Fuck’. About the HAEMOPHAGUS split, we got in touch with their drummer David, and they are some really cool shitalian dudes and one helluva band. We shared stage with them in Germany once, can’t remember if the split was already out by then. Anyway a honor to share plastic with them. Although I’m not very pleased with our tracks, we could probably have performed better. But that’s how it is, you always progress though. I’ve been told by some people it’s hard to get hold of these releases. So we are in talks with a label right now on releasing them both on CD plus our demos and some other unreleased stuff. Hopefully it will be out early 2014."
Finally in 2013, "Up From The Sewers" is released, also via Soulseller Records. Let me tell you, if "Pervertopia" had a rotten, filthy and ugly vibe, "Up From The Sewers" pushes those boundaries even further! The production, the songs and the execution. Every little detail in it is disgusting and obscene! How did you manage to come up with such an album?
"Thanks for the kind words, we are pretty pleased ourselves. We prefer to record and do everything by ourselves, it’s cheaper and you got more time than you have in a studio. This time we had invested in some better recording gear plus we let Widda from Necromorbus Studio do the mastering (in his new studio “Wing Studio”), he brought it altogether and added some extra filth to it. I think it’s our best stuff yet, maybe a bit too much Metal than Punk in the songs but that will probably change for future releases."
The explosion of the NWOSDM back in the early 90s confirmed what the Swedish underground had been developing throughout the 80s. Were the classic bands, such as GRAVE, UNLEASHED, ENTOMBED, etc. a big influence in your style? Because, even though you do play Death Metal, it is pretty obvious that your style and your influences come from a different source. I dare say G.B.H., IMPETIGO, MOTÖRHEAD, CARCASS, GENERAL SURGERY and the likes were some of your main influences. What do you think?
"Yeah, I would agree. We are big fans of those bands, our foundation is probably from the old Swedish Death Metal scene but leaning more to the simple and straight in your face stuff from the Punk scene. IMPETIGO, AUTOPSY some REPULSION and stuff like that with our own twist. We try to play after our abilities, which are pretty limited hehe."
What is the essence of REPUKED? What drives these 4 guys to create and record such mind-boggling music? Because every time I listen to your material I feel like the "exploding head guy" in Scanners.
"Its hard to create something original today, but we try to stand on our own platform and not just follow the wave. But it’s pretty simple, this is the kind of music we love and if some else happens to like it too it’s a bonus for us."
Your lyrics are straight forward. Who comes up with the concepts or ideas behind them? Is there a certain "level" you want to reach, like grossing out people the most?
"I’m the one writing all the lyrics, while sitting on the company toilet and gaining a lot of influence there. Also cheesy 80s horror movies is a big influence. I try my best to crap out some disgusting lyrics but also with a little story line."
Now, has REPUKED played live so far? Any tour plans? How often have you been gigging since you put out your albums?
"Playing live is the shit we like to do the most. We have done a few gigs, playing some festivals in Germany and OEF in Czech Republic. Some show trading with with GRAVEYARD GHOUL in Germany, we played over there and then they came to Sweden and played with us. We played two shows in Scotland with the mighty BONESAW, awesome fucking band! We hope to play some shows in 2014 with our new album in the setlist. We have one cool show here in Stockholm in the end of March with MORBUS CHRON and NECROWRETCH. That one is gonna go down in the books for sure."
Since Punk is one of your main influences, what is your overall opinion, past and present? Are you fans of the original Punk such as RAMONES, THE EXPLOITED, SEX PISTOLS, THE GERMS, THE STOOGES or do you like better the original Punk infused Hardcore such as BLACK FLAG, DESCENDENTS, CIRCLE JERKS or MINOR THREAT?
"Not so much the Hardcore scene, I’d say more punk like GG ALLIN, EXPLOITED, DEMENTED ARE GO the whole psychobilly scene. Early HELLACOPTERS and the local Swedish Punkrock scene. Raw fucking energy!"
Do you have any other interests besides the band and beer drinking? Maybe some stamp collecting (haha)? And I am guessing all of you guys have your regular day jobs? Or do you live off the band?
"Haha, the band only costs us money. But that’s ok, it’s more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. A pretty shitty lifestyle. No other interests that I can think of, we all work full time as slaves for a big company. Ugh."
Well, I think that should be it. On my behalf and VFTD, I thank you very much for your time answering these questions! Is there any other information you want to add? Upcoming plans? New stuff? Thank you and stay sick!
"Thanks to ya! Next year a split EP with BONESAW is in the making. And we hope to play a lot of shows and drink like hundreds of beer on a daily basis! Stay sick ass fuck!"